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St. Norbert Holds Off Cornell to Finish MWC Regular Season Unbeaten

From Sports Information Director, February 20, 2016 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - St. Norbert College held off a furious Cornell College rally down the stretch to post a 61-56 win to close out an unbeaten Midwest Conference schedule at Small Multi-Sport Center.

The Green Knights (19-4, 18-0 MWC) finished unbeaten in Midwest Conference play for the first time since 1988-89 with the win. St. Norbert is also the first MWC women's basketball team to go unbeaten during the regular season since Beloit College in 1997-98.

St. Norbert, the first women's basketball team to win 18 conference games in MWC history, has won 46 of its last 47 games against conference opponents.

The Green Knights held a 54-40 lead with 7 minutes 11 seconds remaining before the Rams (18-5, 15-3) mounted a hard charge down the stretch. Cornell went on an 11-0 run over a span of five minutes to trail 54-51 with 2:50 to go.

Brianna Byrne's jumper with 2:33 to play snapped the run, but Cornell's Haley Grana split a pair of free throws to cut it to 56-52 with 2:16 left. Heidi Van Sistine's hoop put the Green Knights ahead 58-52 with 1:44 to go, but Cornell came again with a basket from Kellie Kuzmanic with 1:36 left and a field goal from Diamond Boyd with about 45 seconds left to trail 58-56.

St. Norbert then worked the clock down on the ensuing possession. Byrne's baseline drive was cut off by the Rams' defense, but her pass found Regan Carmichael on the far win. Carmichael's mid-range jumper as the shot clock expired put St. Norbert ahead 60-56 with about 10 seconds to go and sealed the win.

The Green Knights led 22-17 with 7:26 left in the second quarter before going on a 10-0 run to open up a lead. Rachel Hagge's 3-pointer started the run, and a layup and 3-pointer from Carmichael extended the lead. Stephanie Weigman's hoop with 3:45 left in the period put the Green Knights ahead 32-17. St. Norbert kept the lead at 15 points at halftime with a 37-22 edge.

St. Norbert led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter before leading 48-37 at the end of the stanza.

The Green Knights shot 44 percent (22-for-50) from the floor. Carmichael was the only St. Norbert player to reach double figures with 19 points. Weigman and Van Sistine added nine points apiece.

Cornell shot 34.6 percent (18-for-52) from the floor. Maggie Hogen had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the rams, while Kuzmanic added 11 points.

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